Arsons, or coincidence?

My wife and I work at the local high school and know three kids in the same family. In the last ten years, three houses that they were living have burnt down. The most recent was last night.

Is there any way in hell that this could be just a coincidence? That’s what everybody thought after the second fire. But now, it sure seems that there’s a firebug in that family. Kinda sad whatever the deal is.

My vote is for arson, for insurance purposes. There’s no way your house burns down every 3 years.

Do you know what caused the first two fires?

Either arson, or possibly just gross negligence with a heaping side of stupidity.

Have any fire investigators become involved? They would probably know better than I would with the given info.

Still this is very curious.

Meth lab.

Sounds like the fires were a result of friction. Their debts were rubbing against their insurance policy.

Too few facts to tell, obviously, but I’m going to go against the grain. Arson is fairly easy to discern. At least a cursory investigation would likely be a part of any fire department response to a fire of unknown origin. Even if the fire department didn’t investigate, the insurance company certainly would. Unless someone involved is a world class arsonist who knows all the tricks, I’d say sad coincidence.

A combination of hoarding, especially of newspapers and magazines, and smoking would improve the odds of unintentional incineration.

But I’ll keep my money in my pocket when it comes to betting against arson.

Does anyone in the family smoke in bed?

I read the OP as three different houses where the kids used to live have burned down. Is that correct?

No way can that be a coincidence.

I’m reading it as the houses they were currently residing in burned.

From that point on it’s where they used to live… :slight_smile:

Highly unlikely that it’s a coincidence.

It’s the houses that they were currently living in that burned down, all rentals. Small town in the middle of nowhere, so the houses were total losses and maybe they couldn’t find the cause. I have never heard what caused the fires. Maybe now the officials will look a little closer into things.

Is it at all possible that somebody could have three houses accidentally burn down in ten years? What are the odds of that?

Fishy. Very fishy.

What I imagine happens:

  • Take out content insurance. (Use different insurance companies each time.)
  • Buy expensive items.
  • Take pictures in your house with expensive items in the background.
  • Return expensive items and even pay the restocking charge if required.
  • Find a different way each time to torch the rental house: grease fire? Electrical fire? Fireplace? Wood stove?
  • Collect insurance money and move to a different rental house.

All speculation of course.

ETA: Oh, and is it possible that they were in different neighbourhoods so the responding fire department would be different and wouldn’t immediately connect the dots?

I’d think after the second fire, insurance companies wouldn’t touch them - and at the time of the second fire, the insurance company would send their own investigator…

Does insurance company “B” have access to the records of insurance company “A” though?

Sure it’s possible, just not probable.

Assuming no relationship between the three fires (a VERY big “if” I realize) and that they were all equally [un]likely, the probability of the three of them is the cube of the probably of one of them. In other words, yes it is possible, just d–n unlikely.

You’re “supposed” to tell them when you get insurance about previous claims, but I’m pretty sure they share some information.

Also, OP I think implies that they were living in these homes. I’m gonna guess that they didn’t own them, and I don’t know if they’d even likely have fire/renter’s insurance. Maybe I’m stereotyping.